Let’s talk security. Specifically cloud security. For those of you looking at storage solutions for your FFL paperwork, you’ve probably already come to the conclusion that 4473s are only as secure as the lock on your door. That’s why it’s so important to have a cloud storage that is tamper evident and takes the highest measures to ensure top tier security.

How is cloud storage so secure? Because companies who use the cloud have intense cybersecurity measures, and 4473 Cloud is no different with the robust protocols implemented. Let’s talk cybersecurity.

What is the cloud?

It’s not as ominous as it may sound! More and more companies are seeking digital storage solutions, but it can still be a little intimidating when it goes against what you’ve always known.

In its simplest form, the cloud is defined as software that is stored on servers that run on the internet, meaning your files can be accessed as long as you have internet access.

Is the cloud secure?

The cloud is arguably one of the most secure ways to store documents. Especially when it comes to FFLs. Why? Because one missing page during an ATF audit could have serious implications to the FFL’s business.

Comparing cloud security to tangible paper makes the paper option basically a liability. The threat of having someone break into your business, or an employee accessing your 4473s is higher than the control and security you have with the cloud because of the cybersecurity measures taken.

What are the benefits of cloud security for my FFL?

The servers where these files are stored are inaccessible to most everyone and those files that are stored on the cloud are encrypted. These two factors make it a lot harder for any potential cyber threat to access, especially as compared to what could happen to tangible documents in a store.

Let’s talk about a few ways 4473 Cloud’s cybersecurity works to protect your 4473s.

1. Individual Storage Lockers

Just like the 4473s are in your place of business, your FFL gets its own storage locker. You do not get access to others’ lockers, and others never get access to yours, without explicit permission. Similarly, the ATF has zero access to any of your 4473 Cloud files unless you, the FFL, give them specific permissions.

None of an FFL’s documents can be combined to make a registry as each FFL requires different access that has to be granted by that specific FFL.

2. Access Only Permitted by Specific User Levels

We touched on this in having individual storage lockers, but we’ll discuss it a little more here. Access is only permitted by specific user levels of that FFL. If the ATF visits to do an audit, they only have access to what the FFL allows them to, nothing more. Pursuant to ATF regulations, ATF can also only have access during the FFL’s business hours. 4473 Cloud has systems in place to ensure all rules and security are abided by and enforced.

3. Robust Security

4473 Cloud features the highest cybersecurity available. If there’s room for improvement, then 4473 Cloud’s storage takes the proper steps to ensure they are implemented. With its constant encryption and security updates, 4473s stay protected under a digital lock and key that is tamper proof, and tamper evident, but we’ll touch on that in a bit.

There is also white hat hacking to see if there are any weaknesses in the storage solution. Constant improvement and changes makes it infinitely harder to attempt to hack. That’s why we take tamper testing measures seriously.

4. Tamper Evident

What does it mean that 4473 Cloud is tamper evident? It means that if any 4473 has been altered in any way, it will show the user who made the adjustment as well as the time they adjusted it. Paper documents can’t say either, and you’d be hard pressed to retrace your steps to see how, when, and who altered a document this way.

5. Digital Lock and Key Encryption

Paper documents can’t encrypt themselves – it’d be cool and scary if they did though! Cloud security uses encryption to keep data safe from unauthorized users or cyberthreats. If an attacker were to steal an encrypted file (which is highly unlikely), access would be denied without the secret digital key. Meaning whatever data was stolen is useless without that key.

You may be wondering where this key is and who has access to it. Great thinking! Only specific users are given a digital key, and that is specified by the FFL and the permissions they choose to give. No one else has access.

6. Internal Firewalls

Let’s say your 4473s are stored in the back of your storefront. Who has access to the back (not permission, but access)? With 4473 Cloud, there are additional internal protections you can implement using the tiered permission levels available. Not every user will have complete access to 4473s stored in the cloud. Limiting secure cloud access through internal firewalls is just one more step to security you didn’t otherwise have. This also ensures that even a compromised account isn’t able to gain full access.


Cloud security is a newer concept when comparing it to the old days of storing paper files, but there’s a reason it’s being adopted by all types of industries, including the firearms industry. 4473 Cloud takes every measure possible to ensure its cybersecurity is as robust as possible. We’re an email or a phone call away if you want to discuss your digital storage solutions, or sign up for a free trial today!

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Travis Glover Jul. 6th, 2021

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